side AFFECTS (a burped lark on writing)
by Geoffrey Allison || SIXSTRINGcpa
Original Copyright 2017. All Rights Reserved.
On the best days, I wander through a tangled wood of words and become lost in the scribbling. Eventually I find my way out, return to the real world. Occasionally the dreamscape persists.
The heavy curtains still suffocate the light and encourage me to journey deeper into a dark inner-space. I'd closed the drapes last night, drew them tight. If I hadn’t, the first light of day would have flooded into the eighth-floor studio apartment at ten minutes passed four o’clock in the morning. It is two days until the summer solstice and I’ve been in Prague since the beginning of June.
A Czech friend, also a writer, landed a plum assignment. I received her call in mid-May: “Listen, I’ve got a gig. It’s a good project. I’m heading to China at the start of June, I’ll be gone all month. Come to Prague—I know how much you love it here. You’re not well… and... you can use a change of scene. Use my place while I’m gone. You’ll have it all to yourself. Get work done.”
She’s right. I love Prague, whose beauty is peculiar. The city is a year-round flower but its blossoms peak during the summer months, when the inhabitants soak up the sun as they work and play outdoors. Pale skin blushes to rosy pinks and reds, olive skin hardens to bronze, and mocha flesh melts and sweetens into luscious chocolates.
My skin is pale—an Elmer’s Glue white—and I’m stuck to this frail wrapper. It is a condition, one of the many side effects plaguing me, one of countless self-cast curses. And those are the most dangerous.
I passed out last night and started writing as soon as I woke—whatever time that was—and I’ve been working ever since. Writing until I could work no more, until I reached a natural stopping point: the end of a chapter.
Lunchtime has come and gone, passed me by hours ago. I only now realize this.
Confused, suffering from the by-products of my existence, I leave the apartment then enter the stairwell with metal runners rusted to a poisonous orange colour and anchored into concrete walls that are flaking and painted in graffiti I cannot read or comprehend. A dizzying aroma fills my nostrils and I rush for the exit door.
I need to cross the street if I am to make it to the mini-mart at the corner of Lucemberská and Radhošt’ská, where a lunch waits for me: a premade sandwich and a soda. It’s unsophisticated, not the best meal for someone in my condition. But my resources are limited—simple must do.
I step down from the curb and my foot makes contact. It’s unfamiliar pavement. I hear the noise of heavy traffic and the blaring horns of all those drivers trying to warn me. I am swallowed whole by the disorienting sound. As the automobiles pass, gusts of wind stir the grit that has been collecting in the gutters since the last down-pouring of teardrops. A tornado twists and spirals. An abrasive sandpaper cloud rises and scratches at my skin.
Something is off… doesn’t feel quite right. And I know it.
There is a fear that haunts every person I’ve ever known—no matter their economic position, or skin color, or spiritual belief system. It controls me now, grips me tight.
Am I naked? Exposed?
Confusion, or worry, or doubt: at times like this, what is the difference?
I look down and search for evidence, to confirm my instinct: No trousers.
What is this? How?
I touch my face and feel the tacky smudge of a lipstick smear. It runs in a diagonal direction from the corner of my mouth toward the anterior edge of my right ear. I look down and discover I’m standing street-side wearing a sleeveless sundress made from a bright white and pale blue checkerboard fabric. Such an ill-fitting costume, underpants missing, cock and balls exposed—at the mercy of the harshest elements.
It is then I realize, my eyes finally adjusting to the revealing light, I am no longer even in Prague.
GEOFFREY ALLISON || SIXSTRINGcpa
Hello. It's me, a simple scribbler independently writing and publishing, with a bit of information for site visitors. This page contains select free-to-read poems and flash fictions, or what I refer to as my Short Shorts.
With the exception perhaps of any impromptu poetry temporarily posted here, the date shown under title is merely the sharing date and is not the date of creation, which may be years earlier, as is reflected by applicable copyright dates.